Hyderabad, Feb 9 (IANS) The Election Commission (EC) on Saturday ordered suspension of the district collector of Vikarabad, Telangana, for violation of election norms during the recently concluded Assembly polls in the state.
The poll panel asked the Telangana government to place Syed Omer Jaleel under suspension for opening the seal of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) in the Vikarabad constituency even as the matter was pending in the High Court.
The suspension order of Jaleel, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, has come after the Congress lodged a complaint against him.
Jaleel, also the district election officer, allegedly opened the seal of 125 EVMs and VVPATs even as a petition filed by Congress candidate G. Prasad Kumar, challenging the election of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) candidate M. Anand, was being heard by the court.
As per the EC norms, the seal of EVMs and VVPATs should not be removed in case of any litigation.
Anand defeated his nearest rival Prasad by 3,092 votes in elections held on December 7.
Meanwhile, the Congress reiterated its demand that the EC conducts fresh elections in the Vikarabad constituency.
Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, Congress leader in Andhra Pradesh Assembly, said the breaking of seals strengthen their doubts that EVMs were tampered with.
The Congress claimed it found discrepancies in counting in at least eight constituencies as the votes secured by the candidates did not match the votes recorded in VVPAT.